Late last night (Wednesday, Oct. 16th), the U.S. Congress and the president came to an agreement to reopen the Federal Government and to raise the nation’s debt limit. Included in the bill signed by the president was a provision to compensate all employees who were furloughed during the government shutdown period.
TSEA was concerned that the provision would not include state employees, who are not technically federal employees but whose salary is funded in whole or in part by federal funds. When we had the opportunity to review the actual legislation, we were encouraged by its wording:
Section 116 of the H.R.2775 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 states the following:
(a) If a State (or another Federal grantee) used State funds (or the grantee’s non-Federal funds) to continue carrying out a Federal program or furloughed State employees (or the grantee’s employees) whose compensation is advanced or reimbursed in whole or in part by the Federal Government—
(1) such furloughed employees shall be compensated at their standard rate of compensation for such period;
(2) the State (or such other grantee) shall be reimbursed for expenses that would have been paid by the Federal Government during such period had appropriations been available, including the cost of compensating such furloughed employees, together with interest thereon calculated under section 6503(d) of title 31, United States Code; and
(3) the State (or such other grantee) may use funds available to the State (or the grantee) under such Federal program to reimburse such State (or the grantee), together with interest thereon calculated under section 6503(d) of title 31, United States Code.
TSEA interprets this to mean that all employees furloughed during the Government Shutdown, including state employees whose positions are funded with federal funds, will receive retroactive pay for the entire furlough period.
TSEA has already reached out to the appropriate commissioners and is working to ensure that furloughed state employees in Tennessee receive back pay, as we believe is outlined in the legislation signed by the president last night, for their entire furlough period.
Photo Credit: Architect of the Capitol, http://www.aoc.gov/